Halloween Sensory Bath

Halloween Sensory Bath {RoamingRosie.com}

I wanted to do something special for Halloween, and settled on a sensory bath with orange, green, and purple noodles that would be mixed with black, creepy toys.

It was a hit.  But then, I knew it would be.

How could kids NOT love a sensory bin that you let them climb inside of?

Earlier this year we did an Ocean Sensory Play Bath.  My girls really enjoyed it and requested it again and again.

But this time we did a “creepy” version.

Seemed a good way to get into the Halloween spirit.

Halloween Sensory Bath  {RoamingRosie.com}

I had the food coloring on hand, but the rest of the supplies I picked up at the dollar store.

You’ll need:

4 lbs. of spaghetti
Food coloring in orange, green, and purple
Various toy bugs

I got a package of 8 rubbery mice, 8 rubbery spiders, and a dozen plastic centipedes.

I thought about sticking with the traditional colors of orange and black, but eventually decided to throw in the green and purple, too.  They added a nice dimension to it.

Halloween Sensory Bath  {RoamingRosie.com}

You need to cook the spaghetti ahead of time, but it can sit for awhile.  This is helpful, for example, if you want to take care of this part while your kids are sleeping or at school.

I put most of the 4 lbs. into one large pot with a big scoop of orange food color.  Then I put green and purple into two smaller pots with smaller amounts of spaghetti.

I cooked them according to the package directions, then took the pots off the heat and allowed the noodles to sit in the colored water for 20 or 30 minutes.

You could also cook all the noodles in one big pot and then separate them into plastic baggies.  You can add the food color to the baggies and mix it all around to dye the noodles this way.

Sometimes I have issues with that method, so I used the dye-them-on-the-stove technique.  It takes very little time to wash the pots afterwards, and if you don’t have that many pots, you can always reuse the same one or make fewer colors.

Halloween Sensory Bath  {RoamingRosie.com}

Once you’re ready to drain the pasta, make sure you rinse the noodles with cool water, too.

Rinse until the water that’s draining from the bottom of the colander runs clear.

Some of the food color that is in the spaghetti will still leak into the tub as the noodles steep, but rinsing helps eliminate as much color as possible beforehand.

Halloween Sensory Bath  {RoamingRosie.com}

Here is a photo of the dyes spaghetti in one big bucket and all the creepy, crawly critters in a little dish.

I put these on the bathroom counter until we were ready to play.

As I mentioned, the spaghetti can sit for awhile.  We waited at least an hour, because my youngest was still napping.

And if you don’t have a bathtub {or just can’t imagine putting food in your tub}, you could always use something else.  For example, a kiddie pool.  Or, if you don’t want your kids sitting in the spaghetti, you could put it in a water table or large plastic bin instead, and let them play with it that way.

Halloween Sensory Bath  {RoamingRosie.com}

Fill up the tub with just a few inches of water.

Then dump in the spaghetti and any toys.  Here you can see me and my daughter tossing in all the creepy vermin.

Swirl everything together with your hand or a small strainer.

We used the small mesh strainers to clean up afterwards, but also to play.  The girls used them to scoop up the toys.

Halloween Sensory Bath  {RoamingRosie.com}

The orange faded from the spaghetti rather quickly.

Next time I would use more color and perhaps let it sit a little longer, since orange is such a light color.

And, as you can see, the green and purple did seep into the bathwater.  This makes it even creepier, though, and more of a challenge to find all the toys.  So not a total negative.

Plus, in case you’re wondering, my kids did not turn green and purple.

Halloween Sensory Bath  {RoamingRosie.com}

To clean up, we took out all the toys and scooped all of the noodles back into the bin.

We used both our hands and the mesh strainers to remove the pasta.  My kids have nearly as much fun with this part as they do with playing in the spaghetti.

Once all {or as much as I can find} of the noodles are out of the tub, I drain the water.  Then I make sure there’s no food coloring left in the tub and my kids get a real bath.

When the bath is over, I sprinkle a bunch of baking soda over the drain and rinse it down with white vinegar.  {This is my normal method of cleaning bathtub/sink drains.}  It is inevitable that some noodles will escape down the drain, and certainly some starch, so this extra step is important.

Have fun!

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Put Cinnamon In Your Sandbox To Keep The Bugs Away

Mix cinnamon into your kid's sandbox to keep bugs out of it this summer!

Did you know that cinnamon mixed into a sandbox keeps bugs away?

I can’t remember where I first heard this tip, but boy am I glad I followed it!

I’ve spent so much time over the years scooping various bugs and spiders out of my kids’ sandbox, that I was rather reluctant to ever let them play with it.

When my oldest was younger we had a large one she could sit in, but after we moved, we got a tabletop set that works with water or sand or both.  (We have this adjustable sand and water table.  It has just sand in it right now.)

My girls love it, but it was always infested with bugs.

Then I remembered the tip about bugs not liking cinnamon.

So I generously sprinkled the spice over the sand in the sandbox and mixed it in with a toy rake.

The smell was AMAZING.

Seriously.

We even found some {really} old cinnamon sticks in the pantry that weren’t really any good for baking any more, so I gave my girls two of them to play with.  They’d use them to stir the sand or pretend they were sticks or flag poles, etc.

The point is:  the bugs went away.

And they stayed away.

I also gave the girls some empty spice containers to play with.  They love filling them with sand and “cooking” with them.

Just be careful about letting your kids shake actual cinnamon into the sandbox, since it can easily get into their eyes and be inhaled.  You don’t want that.

But they helped me to stir it into the sand, and, ever since, the sandbox smells like crumb cake or cinnamon rolls.

Sweet, bug-free cinnamon rolls.

Mix cinnamon into your kid's sandbox to keep bugs out of it this summer!  (They can even play with the old spice containers!)

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